Beltre, one of the greatest 3B ever, retires.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Adrian Beltre announced his retirement from baseball today, and will most likely be a first ballot HOF in 2024.

Beltre, listed on baseball-reference.com as the 4th greatest 3B ever (behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews and Wade Boggs, and ahead of George Brett, Chipper Jones, Ron Santo and Brooks Robinson) finishes his career with 3166 hits (16th on the all-time list) and 477 HR (30th). He was a 4x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, and 2x Platinum Glove winner. Six times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting, including a runnerup finish in 2004 and a 3rd place finish in 2012. He played for the Dodgers 1998-2004, Seattle 2005-2009, Boston 2010, and Texas 2011-2018. My guess is he goes into the HOF as a Ranger. His 162 game average was .286-26-94, OPS+ 116. In 28 postseason games, he hit .261-5-11.

A passing. Ken Howell, who pitched in the majors from 1984-1990, passed away November 9 at the age of 57. He pitched for the Dodgers 1984-1988 and the Phillies 1989-1990. His best season was in 1989 for the Phils, when he went 12-12, 3.44, ERA+ 103. He went 38-48, 3.95, ERA+ 92 in his MLB career, 162 game average 9-11, 3.95, ERA+ 92. He got into one postseason game with the Dodgers in 1985 against the Cardinals in the NLCS.

I’ve seen some news about the Yankees and Manny Machado that make me laugh and want to shake my head.

First off, Reggie Jackson is raising some concerns about the statements Machado made that he isn’t “Johnny Hustle”. Now I do agree that Reggie has the right to question Machado’s remarks, and mentioned that a lack of hustle wouldn’t play in NY. But lest we forget June 18, 1977, when REGGIE’S lack of hustle after a bloop single made Billy Martin pull him from a game in Fenway and which almost caused a brawl between Billy and Reggie in the dugout? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Also, A-Rod apparently is calling Machado a “fine young man.” So a guy who was suspended from baseball for an entire year due to steroid usage is being a character witness for Machado? (Shaking my head).

 

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Yanks trade Sheffield and two other prospects to Seattle for James Paxton

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The Yanks wanted to add two starting pitchers this offseason (and subtract one, in Sonny Gray) besides re-signing CC Sabathia.

Step one has been accomplished. The Yanks traded top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, along with P Erik Swanson and OF Dom Thompson-Williams, to Seattle for lefty starter James Paxton.

Paxton, 30, is a Canadian who threw a no-hitter against Toronto last May. While talented, he has had trouble staying healthy. In 2018, he started 28 games, the most of his career, and pitched 160 1/3 innings, also the most of his career, in going 11-6, 3.76, ERA+ 108. In those 160 1/3 innings, he struck out 208.

In the past five seasons, he has started 13-13-20-24-28 games. A progression, but you can see the injury issues. His IP have been 74-67-121-136 and 160.3. When healthy, he has been good, ERAs of 3.04, 3.90, 3.79, 2.98 and 3.76.

Last season, he led the majors in CG (2) and shutouts (1). His MLB record is 41-26, 3.42, ERA+ 117. The ERAs show potential. He needs to stay healthy. His 162 g. average, if healthy, is 14-9, 3.42, with that ERA+ of 117. In four starts against Boston, he is 2-0, 2.49.

Paxton is extremely affordable, having made $4.9MM in 2018 and is projected to earn $9MM in 2019. He isn’t a free agent until after 2020.

To get him, the Yanks gave up top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, LHP, 22, who in a brief MLB tryout last year was 0-0, 10.13 in three games. He spent most of 2018 at AAA SWB, starting 15 games and relieving in 5 more, going 6-4. 2.56. He also started 5 games for AA Trenton, going 1-2, 2.25. (7-6, 2.48 overall in the minors). He probably would have started 2019 at AAA, and being “on call” in case of an injury.

Also going to Seattle was P Erik Swanson, who is 25, a RHP,  who was 8-2, 2.66 between AAA SWB, AA Trenton and short season Staten Island in 2018. 22 starts, 2 relief appearances.

OF Dom Thompson-Williams is also headed to Seattle. A lefty hitter, 23, he spent 2018 between Low A Charleston and High A Tampa, going .299-22-74 in 100 games, with 20 SB.

Step one is getting Paxton. Step two is getting another starter, even BETTER than Paxton. Patrick Corbin? Bring back Happ? Dallas Keuchel?

Betts (AL) Yelich (NL) win MVP honors. Yanks finish 12, 19, 20 and 22. Final AFL stats for Yanks’ prospects.

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Mookie Betts of Boston won the AL MVP quite handily, getting 28 of the 30 first place votes. Mike Trout of the Angels finished as the runnerup for the fourth time (Trout has won the award twice). Trout got one first place vote, and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth, got the other.

As for Yankees, Aaron Judge finished 12th, Giancarlo Stanton 19th, Didi Gregorius finished in a tie for 20th (he was also 20th last year) and Aaron Hicks finished in a tie for 22nd.

Christian Yelich of Milwaukee won the NL MVP, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes (the only other one going to Jacob DeGrom of the Mets, who finished fifth). Javier Baez of the Cubs was the runnerup.

The Glendale Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League season is over with a 12-18 record. Here is how Yankees’ prospects did:

SS Thairo Estrada .238-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .197-0-9
CF Estevan Florial .178-0-8

SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 9.15
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.20
RP Matt Wivinis 0-1, 1.50
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 11.57

 

Snell wins AL CYA, DeGrom NL. Severino finishes 9th.

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Blake Snell of Tampa Bay won the AL CYA, and Jake DeGrom of the Mets won the NL CYA today.

DeGrom won the CYA despite a 10-9 record. His Mets’ team gave him NO run support despite him posting a 1.70 ERA, striking out 269 in 217 IP, and having an ERA+ of 216. He was ALMOST unanimous, one voter going for Max Scherzer of Washington instead. Aaron Nola of the Phillies finished third.

For Snell, he went 21-5, 1.89. He led MLB in wins, the AL in ERA, 1.89, and struck out 221 in 180+ IP. His adjusted ERA+ of 219 led all of MLB. He barely beat out Justin Verlander of Houston for the honor.

Patrick Corbin, a prime free agent target for the Yankees, finished fifth.

Luis Severino of the Yankees, who went 19-8, 3.39, finished 9th in the CYA voting. Last year, he finished 3rd. He got one fifth place vote.

MVP awards announced tomorrow.

Apparently, from different sources, Manny Machado’s attitude and actions during the postseason are weighing heavily on whether the Yanks will sign him.

 

 

Boone 5th for AL MOY. Melvin wins. Snitker wins in NL. CYA winners announced today.

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Bob Melvin of the A’s won the AL Manager of the Year Award. It’s the third time he has won the award. Alex Cora of the WS Champion Red Sox was the runnerup.

Aaron Boone of the Yankees got two third-place votes and finished fifth in the AL voting.

The NL MOY was Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves.

Winning a lot of games, as Boone did (100) or Cora (108) doesn’t necessarily get you the award. Usually it goes to a manager whose team did far better than expected. The Braves improved by 18 games, from 72 to 90 wins to win the NL East. The A’s improved by 22 games, from 75 to 97 wins, to gain the second wild card slot this year.

Tonight, the CYA winners will be announced.

Managers of the Year selected today. … and what is or isn’t a rookie?

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Awards week continues as the Managers of the Year will be named tonight.

With last night’s win of the AL ROY by Shohei Ohtani, it once again begs the question of when a Japanese player comes to the U.S. and MLB, what is and what isn’t a rookie?

Ohtani won because of his two-way play, not only hitting .285-22-61, 10 SB, OPS+ 152 in 104 games, but also going 4-2, 3.31, ERA+ 126 in 10 starts before his elbow blew out. That was enough to beat out the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar, who hit .297-27-92, OPS+ 126, but who had defensive liabilities.

The vote wasn’t as close as maybe it should have been. 25 first place votes to 5. (The Yankees’ Gleyber Torres finished third, but received no first place votes).

Because of his two-way status, I really feel that as long as Ohtani didn’t fall flat on his face, and he didn’t, that the novelty of being the first true two-way player since Babe Ruth almost 100 years ago would win him the award, and it did.

Ohtani had spent five years in the “Japanese major leagues” though. Other Japanese players have won the Rookie of the Year Award after coming over to the U.S., notably Ichiro Suzuki, who won both the AL ROY and AL MVP in 2001.

But what about 2003, when Hideki Matsui was denied the award in part because people felt he wasn’t a “rookie”, because he had spent 10 years in the “Japanese majors”?

The inconsistency of the BBWAA is still astonishing.

Of course, in a couple of months, some members will prove their ignorance in how they voted in the HOF voting.

 

Andujar, Torres finish 2-3 in ROY. Ohtani wins. NL goes to Acuna.

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Shohei Ohtani’s two-way performance earned him the AL ROY award as he got 25 of the 30 first place votes to win the AL ROY with 137 points.

Yankees’ 3b Miguel Andujar got the other 5 first place votes and had 89 points.

Yankees’ 2B Gleyber Torres finished 3rd with 25 points.

AL Rookie of the Year Voting, 1st-2nd-3rd placed votes, total points

 

 

Shohei Ohtani, LAA 25 4 137
Miguel Andujar, NYY 5 20 4 89
Gleyber Torres, NYY 3 16 25
Joey Wendle, TB 3 8 17
Daniel Palka, CWS 1 1
Ryan Yarbrough, TB 1 1

The NL Rookie of the Year was Ronald Acuna of the Braves.

NL Rookie of the Year Voting 1st-2nd-3rd place votes and total points.
Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL 27 3 144
Juan Soto, WSH 2 26 1 89
Walker Buehler, LAD 1 1 20 28
Brian Anderson, MIA 4 4
Jack Flaherty, STL 2 2
Harrison Bader, STL 1 1
Yoshihisa Hirano, ARI 1 1
Jeff McNeil, NYM 1 1